Computer stations in the lobby of the new library. Photo by Jenny Kirchner

The new Strawberry Plaza Idyllwild Public Library, all 4,000 square feet of it, formally opened and was dedicated Tuesday, capping off years of work by many individuals.


Several hundred people — county officials, the library architect, the contractor, community members and especially the Friends of the Idyllwild Library — attended. 3rd District Supervisor Jeff Stone acknowledged in his dedicatory remarks, “The ones who led this effort were the Friends of the Library.”

The Friends have played a pivotal role from the late 1990s to the grand opening Tuesday, Oct. 23. With dedication and perseverance, they first championed expanding the former Library on Pine Crest.

When, after many falthering starts, a new glimmer of light came with the possibility of the county purchasing and remodeling the former Cornet building, expanding library floor space from the old library’s 1,000 square feet to 4,000.

Then the Friends worked with architects and Stone to ensure the building reflected Idyllwild and the community’s needs. As Friends President Adele Voell said after assurances from Stone that he’d get this done, “I told him I had 10 years more to live and wanted to see this in my lifetime. It took four. And you see what we’ve got — the library we wanted that is really going to work.”

Friends presented a check for $32,500 to Stone and the county to keep the library open six days a week for 40 hours. Voell noted there are not many libraries today that can keep those hours. Stone thanked the many who helped make this $2.5-million project possible then said, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your library.”

And as the ceremony concluded, Local Color sang right in the middle of the library, “Everybody Ought to Know What a Library Is.” Idyllwild Librarian Shannon Ng said that the first books had already been checked out during the grand opening.

Friends of the Library President Adele Voell presents a check for $32,500 to Librarian Sharon Ng and Supervisor Jeff Stone during Tuesday’s library dedication. Photo by J.P. Crumrine


The Children’s Room in the library features small scale furniture and whimsical decor. Photo by Jenny Kirchner


Local Color performs in the lobby. Photo by Jenny Kirchner


The Teens Room. Photo by Jenny Kirchner


This sitting alcove features a fireplace. Photo by Jenny Kirchner


The crowd mingles outside, talking about the new library. Photo by J.P. Crumrine


  1. Congratulations to the community of Idyllwild on this beautiful new library. We applaud the advocacy of the Friends of the Idyllwild Library and the leadership of Supervisor Stone in making the dream of a new library in Idyllwild a reality. Branch Manager Shannon Ng and her staff look forward to providing outstanding library service in this exciting new facility.
    –Mark Smith, Administrator, Riverside County Library System/LSSI.

  2. I dont get it.
    You kill outside trees, to make paper books and shelves, so people can go indoors and read instead of being outdoors with nature where the trees once were, before they got reincarnated as lifeless paper books and soulless cabinets.

    The irony is that will read books about nature, when its just outside in 3D, and without a door.

  3. What a waste. I am reading a book on my ipad while in bed.
    No need for paper or a big room to read books. Shhhhh quiet.

    Libraries are a thing of the past, just like the milkman delivery truck, and Blockbuster video. A library? Really? To house books? No one under 45 yrs old will go there.

  4. for the people that say that not everyone can afford a $250 e-book reader, let's consider that this library cost "$2.5-million project" that same amount would have provisioned 10,000 (poor) people with a tablet, and preserved the real estate footprint for a worthy cause, such as a community center town hall.

    Are you telling me that this outdated paper based library will serve 10,000 people?

    Please stop wasting our tax dollars, like the US post-office, and the 1 cent copper penny mint press.

  5. notice in the photo that the Children’s Room with the tiny chairs is empty, because the lobby is full of gray and bald old folks, who can afford to buy their own books. Besides, Idyllwild doesn't have much of a children community. it's an old folks mountain community, and that's ok, but don't pretend.

  6. Here's a challenge for you, "Library Dinosaurs"….Assuming, that you are very capable to easily drop a measly, 250 bucks for for an E-book reader–That of which, you give the very impression, it's just a drop-in-the-hat for you–Why don't YOU donate gift cards for an E-reader/Kindle Paperwhite to every child and adult who enjoys to visit the library. Just think of it, as a humble contribution towards that-so-called "worthy cause" in an effort, to bring your self appointed Pharaohs of Idyllwild, their monumental dream of a community center to fruitition. Just think of it, as giving to the "POOR PEOPLE".

  7. As a retired educator with a double master's degree in history and library science, I find myself siding with those naysayers on the library project in Idyllwild. What IS overlooked is the political footprint of such a project; one which will accrue to the benefit of, among others, the "Stones" of this world. The Friends of the Library appear to have been on a mission to build a monument to themselves as well as to those who are vested in this adventure. The FACT is that while paper books are great for the young readers of the community and should be encouraged, once they reach the age of computer literacy they will abandon the library altogether except for the occasional outdated DVD. For $69 one can purchase a Kindle Reader from and read books FREE from both Amazon and the Riverside County Library System and purchase others for a fraction of the cost of print copies. There was no justification for such an expansion in Idyllwild but for the pipe dream of a few who operate within an entirely outdated context of reality in the digital age. LSSI is a foreign based corporation which runs the Riverside County Library System on a contract basis, including Idyllwild's. They have made billions on American contracts over the past many decades since the golden age of library expansion. The County could have provided EVERY person in Idyllwild with a Kindle AND totally free access to ALL literature (FAR LESS LIMITED THAN A PRINT COLLECTION) for far less than what this project cost.; AND kept the old library for children's programs. Well, anyway, they have public restrooms.

  8. I remember field trips to the library as a child. I fell in love with books then, the smell of the paper, the texture of the covers, the different gloss or roughness of the pages, my fascination with the stitches that held it together, and the feeling of magic as words became pictures and thoughts that danced away on wild adventures in my mind. I was aware of all the other people in the room, and could feel the human presence ebb and flow. Oh, the chairs and tables just the right size for me and made of warm wood! I remember the sunlight that filtered through the windows to light my world in a book. That experience can never, be duplicated with an electronic tablet sitting in my own lonely room. The electronic tablet is sensory depravation, social alienation, and how could their ever be a pop-up book, or those magical clear overlays? Bringing my own children to the library created a social time with other small children and parents, and instilled the same love of reading. Congratualations, Idyllwild, on your new library that apparently represents a new way-old way to "think outside the box."